Martin Krauser
Slovenia
Koper
flag msg tools
mbmb
Some players proposed, for instance, here, that trauma token management is too straightforward and transparent, thereby difficult to play intentionally towards your purposes - lying about trauma tokens seems to be a one-trick pony. Deception seems to be too difficult on this good-or-bad switch for allies that everyone knows YOU placed. If that bothers you, here's a relatively elegant fix:

Make a token pool, into which players contribute trauma tokens, instead of directly placing them on an ally card. A random token is then placed from the pool onto the ally card. The pool is made of two tokens at game start, one benevolent and one antagonistic. After an ally card is used, the player who used it places one of his trauma into the pool, making it three tokens. These tokens are then shuffled and one of them is placed onto the new ally card, making the pool contain two tokens again. The pool thus gradually takes on the "mood" of what players bring to the Human Fleet.

Mechanically, the token a player places into the pool will affect possibilities for an outcome, instead of guaranteeing an outcome that is in nearly every case clearly good or bad for humans. This way, token management becomes something you can bluff effectively, since determining a liar takes some time and guesswork. In a game about deception, this seems vital.

I like this variation for it's thematically suitability - instead of influencing an individual ally, a player plays a part in the general morale of the crew.

A possibly better variation is a "pool" made of one random token instead of two at game start, making the odds 50:50 for direct player influence, thus decreasing the manouvering space of the bluff significantly, yet retaining it as an option.

As a downside, it increases clutter to what you have to remember, since now you must also follow the order of contributions - who could have put that there?

ADDITION:

A slight modification: when an ally card is drawn and the player is to place a token into the pool, he looks at the next ally card to be drawn. Adds more space to planning, sice fleet trauma just became more of a medium term thing. Thematically, it fits, as you normally have more of an idea about who you influence than only one person. Mechanically, this also gives incentive to resolve allies, making them more of a factor.
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
flag msg tools
I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.
badge
Happy grandfather!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good variant. Players still affect allies but keeps them secret.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Miceli
msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Dead Man's Doubloons
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's another possible variation of this, which might be a bit easier to manage:

- Every time a new ally is revealed, one of each type of trauma token is placed on it IN ADDITION to the one of choice placed from the player.
- When it comes time to activate an ally, flip one of the three tokens at random, and do NOT reveal the other two
- Resolve the ally based on the flipped token, and then discard all three WITHOUT looking at the other two


This way people can influence specific allies in the way they want will still having a scapegoat.

Thoughts?
me
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Warnken
United States
Harrison
Ohio
flag msg tools
I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.
badge
Happy grandfather!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the thread the OP linked to I suggested placing two random tokens on an ally in addition to the one placed by a player. All three would be revealed and the allies attitude would be based on whichever type of token had a majority.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris J Davis
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Overtext pending moderation...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Vandrovec wrote:
Some players proposed, for instance, here, that trauma token management is too opaque and transparent, thereby difficult to play intentionally towards your purposes - lying about trauma tokens seems to be a one-trick pony. Deception seems to be too difficult on this good-or-bad switch for allies that everyone knows YOU placed. If that bothers you, here's a relatively elegant fix:

Make a token pool, into which players contribute trauma tokens, instead of directly placing them on an ally card. A random token is then placed from the pool onto the ally card. The pool is made of two tokens at game start, one benevolent and one antagonistic. After an ally card is used, the player who used it places one of his trauma into the pool, making it three tokens. These tokens are then shuffled and one of them is placed onto the new ally card, making the pool contain two tokens again. The pool thus gradually takes on the "mood" of what players bring to the Human Fleet.

Mechanically, the token a player places into the pool will affect possibilities for an outcome, instead of guaranteeing an outcome that is in nearly every case clearly good or bad for humans. This way, token management becomes something you can bluff effectively, since determining a liar takes some time and guesswork. In a game about deception, this seems vital.

I like this variation for it's thematically suitability - instead of influencing an individual ally, a player plays a part in the general morale of the crew.

A possibly better variation is a "pool" made of one random token instead of two at game start, making the odds 50:50 for direct player influence, thus decreasing the manouvering space of the bluff significantly, yet retaining it as an option.

As a downside, it increases clutter to what you have to remember, since now you must also follow the order of contributions - who could have put that there?


Love it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Miceli
msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Dead Man's Doubloons
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mundane wrote:
In the thread the OP linked to I suggested placing two random tokens on an ally in addition to the one placed by a player. All three would be revealed and the allies attitude would be based on whichever type of token had a majority.


My apologies - I read it a bit differently at first!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allan Clements
Norway
Oslo
flag msg tools
badge
Turns out Esseb did touch the flag. Don't tell him I said so though.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The issue with the idea proposed of revealing all the tokens still makes it bad to lie about them because if all the same symbol is revealed (or all the same and some disaster tokens) then it is clear whether you told the truth or not.

I do quite like the idea though, however I actually find the current method fine too.

People just to realise the point of the allies is to be selfish. I was human and lied about people visiting Doc Cottle. Why? Because I wanted to visit him to get rid of my trauma if I ended up ins sickbay. Telling the truth about the allies can let unrevealed Cylons take advantage of them to the humans detriment, (such as using Tigh to brig, or Zarek to lower population when its not needed)

Until the teams are clear it is best for both sides to be ambiguous about the allies. I mean if someone else gets lots of trauma then at least you aren't the one getting eliminated at the end of the game. If someone is being slightly suspicious, encourage them to visit an ally that will make them gain trauma, you aren't lying when you say you WANT them to visit them (you don't specifically state which effect will trigger)



1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Krauser
Slovenia
Koper
flag msg tools
mbmb
Mundane wrote:
In the thread the OP linked to I suggested placing two random tokens on an ally in addition to the one placed by a player. All three would be revealed and the allies attitude would be based on whichever type of token had a majority.


jasonmiceli wrote:
Here's another possible variation of this, which might be a bit easier to manage:

- Every time a new ally is revealed, one of each type of trauma token is placed on it IN ADDITION to the one of choice placed from the player.
- When it comes time to activate an ally, flip one of the three tokens at random, and do NOT reveal the other two
- Resolve the ally based on the flipped token, and then discard all three WITHOUT looking at the other two


This way people can influence specific allies in the way they want will still having a scapegoat.

Thoughts?


Both are a viable possibility that reduces clutter and memory demands over my proposition. However, the token you played affects this one-time chance. The action has no persistent effects, as one would imagine influencing the Human fleet's morale has. You are of the player concerning this one ally, but have nothing to do with how other allies behave later on. The action carries less weight and generates less suspense. As means of obfuscating player input, your propositions work. However, I do not feel that they add more.

Moreover, I dislike the fact that the result of a player's input would be chance-dependent. The tokens a player plays could well have no effect. I don't believe it fits the theme much - I can't imagine an embittered and aggressive Starbuck having no effect on anyone, ever. I also imagine this might water down the allies mechanic too much - playing bad trauma with a good probability of nothing bad happening could dilute the whole issue.

A player's tokens not affecting any ally is a highly improbable occurence in my variation. The action of a player bears weight, which is something I value in game design.

My variation also requires a player to guess what other players deposited before him: Will my token be a third antagonistic one in the pool, or the only one? Can we afford that as a team, considering which allies are yet to be resolved and given our situation? It adds interaction of the kind that makes BSG the game that it is.

Concise comparison:

Obfuscation of player action: all variations
Probability of directly affecting the newly drawn ally: 1/3 in my variation, 2/3 in other two variations
Persistent effects of player action: delayed, possibly unwanted effects on new allies, basis for blame games and framing other players in my variation, none in other two
Possibility of a player's token not affecting an ally: nearly none in my variation, 1/3 in other two



I'd still prefer my method over these since it is less random - the results depend on other player's "contributions" to the pool, and thematically and mechanically, I feel it fits better. Adds some clutter, though.

Writing this, I thought of a slight modification:

When an ally card is drawn and the player is to place a token into the pool, he looks at the next ally card to be drawn. Adds more space to planning, sice fleet trauma just became more of a medium term thing. Thematically, it fits, as you normally have more of an idea about who you influence than only one person. Mechanically, this also gives incentive to resolve allies, making them more of a factor.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul W
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Personally, I think that being unable to have direct say over the stance of a particular ally greatly cuts down on the options for strategic play. If any variation at all it to be used, I'd prefer simply refusing to allow players to make any comment whatsoever on whether moving to an ally is a good idea. Without that piece of information there's a lot more play in what an ally result says about a person's loyalty.

For one example (of many I've encountered), in a recent game I was cylon President Tory and pulling Romo as an ally allowed me to ensure that not only was Cally going to the brig, but that once there she was going to lose her entire hand.

Without determining specific allies, it becomes a much more bland question of "do I dump trauma or can I afford to help my team?", and encountering allies becomes primarily a source of randomness rather than a tool which can be manipulated by one side or another.

Kamakaze wrote:
People just to realise the point of the allies is to be selfish. I was human and lied about people visiting Doc Cottle. Why? Because I wanted to visit him to get rid of my trauma if I ended up ins sickbay. Telling the truth about the allies can let unrevealed Cylons take advantage of them to the humans detriment, (such as using Tigh to brig, or Zarek to lower population when its not needed)


Exactly, this is the key strategic realization for the mechanic. As a human I'll often make sure to select ally options which cause other people to draw trauma, especially early in the game...after all, they may well become a cylon, and whether they do or not the more trauma other people have, the less likely I am to be eliminated.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Krauser
Slovenia
Koper
flag msg tools
mbmb
@ [user="fizzmore"]: Thought of that. The additional modifications mitigate this somewhat. If you know which ally is next and your token has a 1/2 chance to be played, this is less of an issue. Still remains one, though.

TBH, I haven't played the expansion yet and thought of the variation for the people that had an issue with the way ally outcomes are determined. It is untested. I have no idea if I would use it over original rules. :)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allan Clements
Norway
Oslo
flag msg tools
badge
Turns out Esseb did touch the flag. Don't tell him I said so though.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fizzmore wrote:

Exactly, this is the key strategic realization for the mechanic. As a human I'll often make sure to select ally options which cause other people to draw trauma, especially early in the game...after all, they may well become a cylon, and whether they do or not the more trauma other people have, the less likely I am to be eliminated.


I am still hoping to be able to put a Bad trauma on Saul Tigh and then lie about it being a good one but we should save it for when we need it, to try to taunt the Cylon into visiting Tigh. As only a Cylon would want to try to take advantage of brigging someone random. Then when he does visit him, he himself is sent to the brig. Not sure I can pull off the lie though
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anders Gabrielsson
Sweden
Uppsala
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Vandrovec wrote:
Concise comparison:

Obfuscation of player action: all variations
Probability of directly affecting the newly drawn ally: 1/3 in my variation, 2/3 in other two variations
Persistent effects of player action: delayed, possibly unwanted effects on new allies, basis for blame games and framing other players in my variation, none in other two
Possibility of a player's token not affecting an ally: nearly none in my variation, 1/3 in other two

The math is actually a bit different.

With Jason's variant there's only a 1/3 chance that the player's token is the one flipped, so in two out of three cases the player's token has no effect.

In Todd's variant there's roughly a 50% chance (ignoring disaster tokens and assuming the token pool isn't heavily skewed towards benevolent or antagonistic, or very small) that the two random tokens are of the same type which makes the player's token irrelevant to the resolution of the ally.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allan Clements
Norway
Oslo
flag msg tools
badge
Turns out Esseb did touch the flag. Don't tell him I said so though.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just had one idea which makes choosing to visit an Ally slightly more interesting.

The top card of the allies pile is always visible so you can see who will turn up next. This means if you only have 1 type of trauma you can see whether it would be a good idea to visit an ally next, instead of someone else. If the next ally is really useful and needed then someone can take a bad effect just to get the new ally out. etc..

Sometimes it sucks when you do that to Saul Tigh only to see Cain turn up next anyway!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Krauser
Slovenia
Koper
flag msg tools
mbmb
@ Anders:
I don't really care if the exact player's token was used, since it' doesn't matter at all, unless you marked them. Only the end effect is significant, and the probabilites calculated reflect that.

In Jason's variant, it doesn't matter whether the player's token is flipped, or the other, identical one. The player's action's effect is a change to probability, which totals to 2/3.

Again, in Todd's variant, in two out of three possible occurences

1b+1a + 1x,
2a+1x,
2b+1x

x an element of {a,b}

the outcome is x. Hence, playing X gives a 2/3 probability for outcome X, under the assumption of an equal number of each of the two viable token types.


@ Kamakaze: I actually wrote that down, then edited it to only the "active" player seeing one ally ahead. I like games with secrets, and I like the idea that interacting with allies gives a slight advantage regardless of the outcome. :)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anders Gabrielsson
Sweden
Uppsala
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Sorry, but I think you're mixing up some things.

In Jason's variant, it's true that the probability of the end result being the same as the player's input is 2/3, but the probability that the player's input decides the end result is only 1/3 and that's what you listed in your summary. If you meant to say the former, you're correct, but you seemed to mean the latter.

In Todd's variant the probabilities for the various situations are different. You have a 1/4 chance of getting 2a+1x, a 1/4 chance of getting 2b+1x and a 1/4 each for the two equivalent results 1a+1b+1x or 1b+1a+1x.

In the two first situations, which occur a total of half the time, the player's token doesn't affect the end result, which it does in the other half, hence the player's token has a 50% chance of deciding the result. (Again, assuming no disaster tokens and a reasonably large and balanced token pool.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Krauser
Slovenia
Koper
flag msg tools
mbmb
You're right, and I should not do even simple math past bedtime. :)

Thanks for the correction.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anders Gabrielsson
Sweden
Uppsala
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
No problem. I hope I didn't come across as too much of a besserwisser.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Krauser
Slovenia
Koper
flag msg tools
mbmb
Not at all. If anyone, I'd be found guilty of that. :)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.